1. For technical inventions, the application for a patent and/or utility model.
As early as at the application stage, we make sure that they are designed in such as manner as to be able to defend effectively against potential copycats. Each and every word, even each and every punctuation mark in the wording of the claims may make a significant difference with regard to the scope of protection of the patent or of the utility model.
2. By operation of law, aesthetic models may be protected by copyright without an application.
In view of the jurisprudence of the courts, which is not always consistent, with regard to "concept of work" and/or the "individuality/level of originality" a certain risk remains as to whether the actual aesthetic model really fulfills the requirements of copyright protection. In this and in other cases, it may be reasonable to apply for design protection with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt, DPMA) and/or for protection as a community design with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and internationally via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or our foreign communicating attorneys.
3. The greatest economic value of a company is usually their company symbols and trademarks.
This is also due to the fact that the trademark is the only property right that can be renewed again and again (every 10 years). Before you decide on the application for a trademark – whether as a German trade mark and/or an EU trade mark, international mark or foreign national mark – there are important issues that need to be considered and verified. The designation should not be too descriptive for the relevant products – even though from a marketing perspective, this would be most welcome. In this case, the designation will be rejected for entry in the register of trademarks due to the existence of absolute grounds for refusal. Also, whether or not prior rights exist needs to be verified, as they can be used as a basis to attack the trademark in opposition or revocation proceedings. Once the trademark is registered, it is sensible to have the subsequent trademark registrations monitored and, where necessary, to file oppositions in order to counter any weakening of the distinctiveness.
4. In some constellations, intellectual property rights simply do not take hold, whatever the reasons.
However, this does not mean that it is impossible to defend against unfair imitation. In this case, the ancillary copyrights protected under competitive law in accordance with section 4(3) of the Unfair Competition Act (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, UWG) may be a remedy, provided the conditions under which claims can be raised are met. The Act on the Protection of Trade Secrets (Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen, GeschGehG) may also be of help if the protection of know-how is topical.
Interdisciplinary property right strategies
In addition to the optimal protection of your intellectual property, comprising the development of interdisciplinary property right strategies (research, expert opinions or freedom-to-operate analyses) and the maintenance of international portfolios, we will support you in the enforcement or defeat of individual property rights, including the coordination of complex international disputes, such as R&D, trademark differentiation or license agreements. We conduct and coordinate your infringement proceedings before court, including opposition or revocation proceedings or national and cross-national global patent infringement proceedings on both sides (attack and defense). We have comprehensive and well-founded experience in the enforcement of license programs and the defense against them, including but not limited to issues relating to SEPs and FRAND.
In addition to the traditional protection of industrial property, we also offer counseling regarding select issues in media law, including without limitation regarding general protection of personal rights, the right to one's own image (section 22 et seq. of the Act concerning Copyrights to Works of Fine Art and Photography (Gesetz betreffend das Urheberrecht an Werken der bildenden Künste und der Photographie, KUG) and the right to one's own name (section 12 of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB).
Iouri Kobiako von Gamm
Iouri Kobiako von Gamm has dealt with the exploitation of intellectual property for more than 20 years and counsels both international groups of companies as well as medium-sized and small enterprises specialized in technology.
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Prof. Dr. Eva-Irina von Gamm, LL.M. (Eur.)
In her capacity of specialized industrial property attorney and with a PhD in copyright, Prof. Dr. Eva-Irina von Gamm has acquired almost 20 years of professional and counseling experience in the field of intellectual property, ever since she was licensed as an attorney in Munich in 2002.
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Dr. (PhD Yale) Sebastian Schmidt
Sebastian Schmidt studied physics at Frankfurt University and as a scholar of the German National Merit Foundation at the Free University of Berlin.
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Dr. rer.nat. Frederik Matthias Spiegelhalder
Frederik Spiegelhalder studied physics at Heidelberg University and was awarded a Ph.D. with honors at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Innsbruck.
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Gabriele Hällmeier has worked as a patent attorney's assistant ever since completing her training in 1981. During her long professional career in large, medium-sized and smaller IP law firms, she acquired comprehensive knowledge in basically all fields of industrial property in Germany, Europe and on an international level.
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